Everyone had had a tiring but fun last day, Alicechan with her music, Rosechan and Niky and Sandora with their art and photography,the dance troupe with their dancing. They had all had as much freedom as they wanted to express themselves and they had had a lot of fun. They were going to miss it, but it would be something they would remember and share with each other for years to come. They went out again for a hike to admire their surroundings one last time. Maybe she could come back again, as a counsellor next time, thought Rosechan. That would be a lovely summer job.
The girls were sitting at one of the wooden tables outside having a snack and hot chocolate, when Trishy, one of the dance geniuses, came with an announcement:
'Hey everyone! Farewell dance after dinner in the community centre!' Everyone was excited to hear the news, it had been a while since they had been to a dance. The last time Rosechan had been was at the Halloween Hop at school, when uncle Stretch had helped her collecting tickets, then flew her out on a date.
After dinner, they were getting themselves ready in the dancers' changing rooms. Rosechan was excited as she sprayed her hair with water and combed it through. Too bad she hadn't brought any disco clothes with her, only her old blue jeans and red Wacky High t-shirt. Nothing what stop her having fun tonight, not even Slappy. Slappy...she shuddered when she realised that she wouldn't be free of him even for one night as she would have to keep an eye on him. Which meant either staying in or taking him with her to the dance.
Too bad, she really wanted to go. The other campers would be shooting weirdified stares at her, but she was ready to sacrifice her dignity to have her fun. There were 20 minutes left, so she went back to the tent to talk with Alicechan for a while.
'Come on Rosechan, lets go!' Sandora appeared at the tent entrance. Checking herself once more and grabbing Slappy, she followed Sandora out.
Once they got to the dance hall, Rosechan set Slappy down on one of the tables and went to get drinks for her friends. Niky and Sandora stayed to watch Slappy, who stared at them with those mesmerising green eyes. Excellent, thought Slappy, more pretty girls to enslave!
'Here you go,' Rosechan said, just then, snapping them out of their daze and startling Slappy too.'Hey!' She suddenly noticed her friends expressions, pulling them out of his way, then picked up Slappy, who looked normal again. 'Be careful when you are around him, I don't want him doing this to you too,' she warned her friends.
The music started just then and Rosechan led Sandora and Niky to the dance floor. Everyone moved around to some 80s grooves, Rosechan having a good time but glancing at Slappy ever so often.
After a while Rosechan and her friends sat down to have a rest and finish their cherry sodas. Two guys came and asked the girls to dance.
'Go ahead girls, I think I will have a little rest. That time of the month still,' she told her friends and they understood.
Rosechan sat next to Slappy watching everyone else having fun. She was happy about her friends and didn't even mind that she was with Slappy. Suddenly he turned his head to her,his mouth clicking open.
'May I have this dance, Slave?' He asked.
'I guess so, there's nothing else to do but dance,' sighed Rosechan as she picked him up and held him close as they danced slowly with the rest. Everyone was staring at the strange girl, dancing with her dummy. To many, she seemed like a crazy girl obsessed with her dolls, even as far as bringing one to a dance.
Rosechan tried not to let it bother her.
She closed her eyes forcing herself to block the gawkers out of view and enjoy herself. She had become so engrossed in dancing, she hadn't noticed her surroundings had changed. She was no longer in a community centre but in a glamorous dance hall, with magnificent chandeliers casting beautiful rays of light and crystal mirrors on the walls. She looked at herself and saw she was no longer wearing her jeans and t shirt, but a beautiful blue ball gown and a Venetian mask covering her eyes. It was a masquerade ball. She was dancing with Slappy who actually looked glamorous in his black suit and was now her height. Or was it in fact she who had shrunk? Strange, she thought, I never knew Slappy could dance.
Everybody else was dressed in a similar fashion and enjoying the masquerade ball, their identities hidden by masks. Niky and Sandora were there too, in beautiful sparkling ball gowns and masks. Everyone was now dancing around the couple. She let each of her 2 friends dance with Slappy, first Sandora then Niky. Even Boomer was there together with the rest of the counsellors and teachers, and he took Rosechan's hand gallantly in a dance. She smiled as she danced with her crush, holding onto him tight and gazing into his eyes. Then it was just her and Slappy dancing again....She was so caught up in the moment she didn't feel Sandora tap her on the arm.
'Huh?' She said suddenly.
'The party is over, we have to go back now,' Niky reminded her.
'What?' She snapped back to reality with a start. 'Oh my goodness, how long have I been like this?' She asked embarrassed.
'For the past 10 minutes,' Sandora said, both girls giggling. They were the last few remaining, so they left the centre and made their way back together through the pitch black. When they got back to the tent, Alicechan was already asleep. She hadn't taken part in the dance as she had to work on a written assignment. In addition, discos weren't really her thing. The girls got ready and quietly got into their sleeping bags, Rosechan laying Slappy down next to her and covering him with her jacket. Then after some whispered ghost stories, the girls went to sleep, for their last night of camp.
Dolly was in bed, Mr.Ted next to her. She was wearing a white nightdress, the only other thing she wore besides her victorian dress. Everyone else in the room was already asleep. She was showing Mr Ted something: a dried up rose, it's petals completely flat, making it seem as if it were made out of thin paper. Dolly had had it since she could remember, but it had been preserved so well all this time it hadn't decayed or crumbled.
'Look mr. Ted,' she whispered to the bear. 'This was the rose Sloane gave me, and its stayed with me all this time. That's a sign that we will be reunited together soon.' She held the rose against her cheek then put it under her pillow. Pulling mr Ted towards her, she got under the covers and pretty soon was asleep along with everyone else.